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title: "Quick Start Guide"
output: rmarkdown::html_vignette
vignette: >
%\VignetteIndexEntry{Quick Start Guide}
```{r, echo = FALSE}
knitr::opts_chunk$set(collapse = FALSE,
comment = "##",
tidy = TRUE)
# Installing the package
Since **quanteda** is available on [CRAN](, you can install by using your GUI's R package installer, or execute:
```{r, eval = FALSE}
See an instructions at to install the (development) GitHub version.
## Additional recommended packages:
The following packages contain modularised functions that were formerly part of **quanteda**, and we recommend that you always install them along with **quanteda**:
* [**quanteda.textmodels**]( Functions for scaling and classifying textual data.
* [**quanteda.textstats**]( Statistics for textual data.
* [**quanteda.textplots**]( Statistics for textual data.
The following packages work well with or extend **quanteda** and we recommend that you also install them:
* [**readtext**]( An easy way to read text data into R, from almost any input format.
* [**spacyr**]( NLP using the [spaCy]( library, including part-of-speech tagging, entity recognition, and dependency parsing.
* [**quanteda.corpora**]( Additional textual data for use with **quanteda**.
```{r eval = FALSE}
* [**quanteda.dictionaries**]( Various dictionaries for use with **quanteda**, including the function `liwcalike()`, an R implementation of the [Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count]( approach to text analysis.
```{r eval = FALSE}
# Creating a Corpus
You load the package to access to functions and data in the package.
```{r, message = FALSE}
## Currently available corpus sources
**quanteda** has a simple and powerful companion package for loading texts: [**readtext**]( The main function in this package, `readtext()`, takes a file or fileset from disk or a URL, and returns a type of data.frame that can be used directly with the `corpus()` constructor function, to create a **quanteda** corpus object.
`readtext()` works on:
* text (`.txt`) files;
* comma-separated-value (`.csv`) files;
* XML formatted data;
* data from the Facebook API, in JSON format;
* data from the Twitter API, in JSON format; and
* generic JSON data.
The corpus constructor command `corpus()` works directly on:
* a vector of character objects, for instance that you have already loaded into the workspace using other tools;
* a `VCorpus` corpus object from the **tm** package.
* a data.frame containing a text column and any other document-level metadata.
### Building a corpus from a character vector
The simplest case is to create a corpus from a vector of texts already in memory in R. This gives the advanced R user complete flexibility with his or her choice of text inputs, as there are almost endless ways to get a vector of texts into R.
If we already have the texts in this form, we can call the corpus constructor function directly. We can demonstrate this on the built-in character object of the texts about immigration policy extracted from the 2010 election manifestos of the UK political parties (called `data_char_ukimmig2010`).
corp_uk <- corpus(data_char_ukimmig2010) # build a new corpus from the texts
If we wanted, we could add some document-level variables -- what quanteda calls *docvars* -- to this corpus.
We can do this using the R's `names()` function to get the names of the character vector `data_char_ukimmig2010`, and assign this to a document variable (*docvar*).
docvars(corp_uk, "Party") <- names(data_char_ukimmig2010)
docvars(corp_uk, "Year") <- 2010
### Loading in files using the readtext package
```{r, eval=FALSE}
# Twitter json
dat_json <- readtext("~/Dropbox/QUANTESS/social media/zombies/tweets.json")
corp_twitter <- corpus(dat_json)
summary(corp_twitter, 5)
# generic json - needs a textfield specifier
dat_sotu <- readtext("~/Dropbox/QUANTESS/Manuscripts/collocations/Corpora/sotu/sotu.json",
textfield = "text")
summary(corpus(dat_sotu), 5)
# text file
dat_txtone <- readtext("~/Dropbox/QUANTESS/corpora/project_gutenberg/pg2701.txt", cache = FALSE)
summary(corpus(dat_txtone), 5)
# multiple text files
dat_txtmultiple1 <- readtext("~/Dropbox/QUANTESS/corpora/inaugural/*.txt", cache = FALSE)
summary(corpus(dat_txtmultiple1), 5)
# multiple text files with docvars from filenames
dat_txtmultiple2 <- readtext("~/Dropbox/QUANTESS/corpora/inaugural/*.txt",
docvarsfrom = "filenames", sep = "-",
docvarnames = c("Year", "President"))
summary(corpus(dat_txtmultiple2), 5)
# XML data
dat_xml <- readtext("~/Dropbox/QUANTESS/quanteda_working_files/xmlData/plant_catalog.xml",
textfield = "COMMON")
summary(corpus(dat_xml), 5)
# csv file
write.csv(data.frame(inaug_speech = as.character(data_corpus_inaugural),
file = "/tmp/inaug_texts.csv", row.names = FALSE)
dat_csv <- readtext("/tmp/inaug_texts.csv", textfield = "inaug_speech")
summary(corpus(dat_csv), 5)
## How a quanteda corpus works
### Corpus principles
A corpus is designed to be a "library" of original documents that have been converted to plain, UTF-8 encoded text, and stored along with meta-data at the corpus level and at the document-level. We have a special name for document-level meta-data: *docvars*. These are variables or features that describe attributes of each document.
A corpus is designed to be a more or less static container of texts with respect to processing and analysis. This means that the texts in corpus are not designed to be changed internally through (for example) cleaning or pre-processing steps, such as stemming or removing punctuation. Rather, texts can be extracted from the corpus as part of processing, and assigned to new objects, but the idea is that the corpus will remain as an original reference copy so that other analyses -- for instance those in which stems and punctuation were required, such as analyzing a reading ease index -- can be performed on the same corpus.
To extract texts from a corpus, we simply coerce this to a plain character type, using `as.character()`.
To summarize the texts from a corpus, we can call a `summary()` method defined for a corpus.
summary(data_corpus_inaugural, n = 5)
We can save the output from the summary command as a data frame, and plot some basic descriptive statistics with this information:
```{r, fig.width = 8}
tokeninfo <- summary(data_corpus_inaugural)
tokeninfo$Year <- docvars(data_corpus_inaugural, "Year")
if (require(ggplot2))
ggplot(data = tokeninfo, aes(x = Year, y = Tokens, group = 1)) +
geom_line() +
geom_point() +
scale_x_continuous(labels = c(seq(1789, 2017, 12)), breaks = seq(1789, 2017, 12)) +
# Longest inaugural address: William Henry Harrison
tokeninfo[which.max(tokeninfo$Tokens), ]
## Tools for handling corpus objects
### Adding two corpus objects together
The `+` operator provides a simple method for concatenating two corpus objects. If they contain different sets of document-level variables, these will be stitched together in a fashion that guarantees that no information is lost. Corpus-level meta-data is also concatenated.
corp1 <- corpus(data_corpus_inaugural[1:5])
corp2 <- corpus(data_corpus_inaugural[53:58])
corp3 <- corp1 + corp2
### Subsetting corpus objects
There is a method of the `corpus_subset()` function defined for corpus objects, where a new corpus can be extracted based on logical conditions applied to *docvars*:
summary(corpus_subset(data_corpus_inaugural, Year > 1990))
summary(corpus_subset(data_corpus_inaugural, President == "Adams"))
## Exploring corpus texts
The `kwic` function (keywords-in-context) performs a search for a word and allows us to view the contexts in which it occurs:
data_tokens_inaugural <- tokens(data_corpus_inaugural)
kwic(data_tokens_inaugural, pattern = "terror")
kwic(data_tokens_inaugural, pattern = "terror", valuetype = "regex")
kwic(data_tokens_inaugural, pattern = "communist*")
Using `phrase()` we can also look up multi-word expressions.
kwic(data_tokens_inaugural, pattern = phrase("United States")) %>%
head() # show context of the first six occurrences of "United States"
In the above summary, `Year` and `President` are variables associated with each document. We can access such variables with the `docvars()` function.
# inspect the document-level variables
More corpora are available from the [quanteda.corpora]( package.
# Extracting Features from a Corpus
In order to perform statistical analysis such as document scaling, we must extract a matrix associating values for certain features with each document. In quanteda, we use the `dfm()` function to produce such a matrix. "dfm" is short for *document-feature matrix*, and always refers to documents in rows and "features" as columns. We fix this dimensional orientation because it is standard in data analysis to have a unit of analysis as a row, and features or variables
pertaining to each unit as columns. We call them "features" rather than terms, because features are more general than terms: they can be defined as raw terms, stemmed terms, the parts of speech of terms, terms after stopwords have been removed, or a dictionary class to which a term belongs. Features can be entirely general, such as ngrams or syntactic dependencies, and we leave this open-ended.
## Tokenizing texts
To simply tokenize a text, quanteda provides a powerful command called `tokens()`. This produces an intermediate object, consisting of a list of tokens in the form of character vectors, where each element of the list corresponds to an input document.
`tokens()` is deliberately conservative, meaning that it does not remove anything from the text unless told to do so.
txt <- c(text1 = "This is $10 in 999 different ways,\n up and down; left and right!",
text2 = "@kenbenoit working: on #quanteda 2day\t4ever,")
tokens(txt, remove_numbers = TRUE, remove_punct = TRUE)
tokens(txt, remove_numbers = FALSE, remove_punct = TRUE)
tokens(txt, remove_numbers = TRUE, remove_punct = FALSE)
tokens(txt, remove_numbers = FALSE, remove_punct = FALSE)
tokens(txt, remove_numbers = FALSE, remove_punct = FALSE, remove_separators = FALSE)
We also have the option to tokenize characters:
tokens("Great website:", what = "character")
tokens("Great website:", what = "character",
remove_separators = FALSE)
and sentences:
# sentence level
tokens(c("Kurt Vongeut said; only assholes use semi-colons.",
"Today is Thursday in Canberra: It is yesterday in London.",
"En el caso de que no puedas ir con ellos, ¿quieres ir con nosotros?"),
what = "sentence")
With `tokens_compound()`, we can concatenate multi-word expressions and keep them as a single feature in subsequent analyses:
tokens("New York City is located in the United States.") %>%
tokens_compound(pattern = phrase(c("New York City", "United States")))
## Constructing a document-feature matrix
Tokenizing texts is an intermediate option, and most users will want to skip straight to constructing
a document-feature matrix. For this, we have a Swiss-army knife function, called `dfm()`, which performs
tokenization and tabulates the extracted features into a matrix of documents by features. Unlike
the conservative approach taken by `tokens()`, the `dfm()` function applies certain options by default,
such as `tolower()` -- a separate function for lower-casing texts -- and removes punctuation. All of the options to `tokens()` can be passed to `dfm()`, however.
corp_inaug_post1990 <- corpus_subset(data_corpus_inaugural, Year > 1990)
# make a dfm
dfmat_inaug_post1990 <- tokens(corp_inaug_post1990) %>%
dfmat_inaug_post1990[, 1:5]
Other options for a `dfm()` include removing stopwords, and stemming the tokens.
# make a dfm, removing stopwords and applying stemming
dfmat_inaug_post1990 <- dfm(dfmat_inaug_post1990,
remove = stopwords("english"),
stem = TRUE, remove_punct = TRUE)
dfmat_inaug_post1990[, 1:5]
The option `remove` provides a list of tokens to be ignored. Most users will
supply a list of pre-defined "stop words", defined for numerous languages, accessed through
the `stopwords()` function:
head(stopwords("en"), 20)
head(stopwords("ru"), 10)
head(stopwords("ar", source = "misc"), 10)
### Viewing the document-feature matrix
The dfm can be inspected in the Environment pane in RStudio, or by calling R's `View()` function. Calling `textplot_wordcloud()` on a dfm will display a wordcloud.
```{r warning=FALSE, fig.width = 8, fig.height = 8}
dfmat_uk <- tokens(data_char_ukimmig2010, remove_punct = TRUE) %>%
tokens_remove(stopwords("en")) %>%
To access a list of the most frequently occurring features, we can use `topfeatures()`:
topfeatures(dfmat_uk, 20) # 20 most frequent words
Plotting a word cloud is done using `textplot_wordcloud()`, for a `dfm` class object. This function passes arguments through to `wordcloud()` from the **wordcloud** package, and can prettify the plot using the same arguments:
```{r warning=FALSE, fig.width = 7, fig.height = 7}
textplot_wordcloud(dfmat_uk, min_count = 6, random_order = FALSE,
rotation = .25,
color = RColorBrewer::brewer.pal(8, "Dark2"))
### Grouping documents by document variable
Often, we are interested in analysing how texts differ according to substantive factors which may be encoded in the document variables, rather than simply by the boundaries of the document files. We can group documents which share the same value for a document variable when creating a dfm:
dfmat_pres <- tail(data_corpus_inaugural, 20) %>%
tokens(remove_punct = TRUE) %>%
tokens_remove(stopwords("en")) %>%
dfm() %>%
dfm_group(groups = Party)
We can sort this dfm, and inspect it:
### Grouping words by dictionary or equivalence class
For some applications we have prior knowledge of sets of words that are indicative of traits we would like to measure from the text. For example, a general list of positive words might indicate positive sentiment in a movie review, or we might have a dictionary of political terms which are associated with a particular ideological stance. In these cases, it is sometimes useful to treat these groups of words as equivalent for the purposes of analysis, and sum their counts into classes.
For example, let's look at how words associated with terrorism and words associated with the economy vary by President in the inaugural speeches corpus. From the original corpus, we select Presidents since Clinton:
corp_inaug_post1991 <- corpus_subset(data_corpus_inaugural, Year > 1991)
Now we define a demonstration dictionary:
dict <- dictionary(list(terror = c("terrorism", "terrorists", "threat"),
economy = c("jobs", "business", "grow", "work")))
We can use the dictionary when making the dfm:
dfmat_inaug_post1991_dict <- tokens(corp_inaug_post1991) %>%
tokens_lookup(dictionary = dict) %>%
The constructor function `dictionary()` also works with two common "foreign" dictionary formats: the
LIWC and Provalis Research's Wordstat format. For instance, we can load the LIWC and apply this to the Presidential inaugural speech corpus:
```{r, eval = FALSE}
dictliwc <- dictionary(file = "LIWC2001_English.dic", format = "LIWC")
dfmat_inaug_subset <- dfm(tokens(data_corpus_inaugural[52:58]), dictionary = dictliwc)
dfmat_inaug_subset[, 1:10]
## Document-feature matrix of: 7 documents, 10 features (1.43% sparse) and 4 docvars.
## features
## docs Pronoun I We Self You Other Negate Assent Article Preps
## 1993-Clinton 179 15 124 139 12 12 25 2 115 211
## 1997-Clinton 188 8 134 142 0 27 27 4 194 310
## 2001-Bush 176 15 111 126 8 16 40 2 104 208
## 2005-Bush 171 10 92 102 25 20 25 5 174 307
## 2009-Obama 243 5 156 161 17 34 40 2 185 294
## 2013-Obama 219 7 168 175 5 21 42 1 148 265
## [ reached max_ndoc ... 1 more document ]
# Further examples
## Similarities between texts
```{r fig.width = 6, fig.height = 3, eval = FALSE}
dfmat_inaug_post1980 <- corpus_subset(data_corpus_inaugural, Year > 1980) %>%
tokens(remove_punct = TRUE) %>%
tokens_wordstem(language = "en") %>%
tokens_remove(stopwords("en")) %>%
tstat_obama <- textstat_simil(dfmat_inaug_post1980,
dfmat_inaug_post1980[c("2009-Obama", "2013-Obama"), ],
margin = "documents", method = "cosine")
dotchart(as.list(tstat_obama)$"2013-Obama", xlab = "Cosine similarity", pch = 19)
<img src="images/fig1.png" width="700"/>
We can use these distances to plot a dendrogram, clustering presidents.
First, load some data.
```{r, eval = FALSE}
data_corpus_sotu <- readRDS(url(""))
dfmat_sotu <- corpus_subset(data_corpus_sotu, Date > as.Date("1980-01-01")) %>%
tokens(remove_punct = TRUE) %>%
tokens_wordstem(language = "en") %>%
tokens_remove(stopwords("en")) %>%
dfmat_sotu <- dfm_trim(dfmat_sotu, min_termfreq = 5, min_docfreq = 3)
```{r echo = FALSE}
Now we compute clusters and plot the dendrogram:
```{r, fig.width = 8, fig.height = 5, eval = FALSE}
# hierarchical clustering - get distances on normalized dfm
tstat_dist <- textstat_dist(dfm_weight(dfmat_sotu, scheme = "prop"))
# hiarchical clustering the distance object
pres_cluster <- hclust(as.dist(tstat_dist))
# label with document names
pres_cluster$labels <- docnames(dfmat_sotu)
# plot as a dendrogram
plot(pres_cluster, xlab = "", sub = "",
main = "Euclidean Distance on Normalized Token Frequency")
<img src="images/fig2.png" width="700"/>
We can also look at term similarities:
```{r, eval = FALSE}
tstat_sim <- textstat_simil(dfmat_sotu, dfmat_sotu[, c("fair", "health", "terror")],
method = "cosine", margin = "features")
lapply(as.list(tstat_sim), head, 10)
## $fair
## time better far strategi us lower long one practic onli
## 0.8266617 0.8135324 0.8036487 0.8002557 0.8000581 0.7995066 0.7977770 0.7949795 0.7944127 0.7899963
## $health
## system issu privat need expand reform support hous dramat mani
## 0.9232094 0.9229859 0.9175231 0.9145142 0.9118901 0.9072380 0.9072374 0.9063870 0.9051588 0.9045851
## $terror
## terrorist coalit cheney evil homeland liberti 11th sudden regim septemb
## 0.8539894 0.8179609 0.8175618 0.7949619 0.7878223 0.7697739 0.7603221 0.7556575 0.7533021 0.7502925
## Scaling document positions
Here is a demonstration of unsupervised document scaling comparing the "Wordfish" model:
```{r fig.width = 7, fig.height = 5}
if (require("quanteda.textmodels") && require("quanteda.textplots")) {
dfmat_ire <- dfm(tokens(data_corpus_irishbudget2010))
tmod_wf <- textmodel_wordfish(dfmat_ire, dir = c(2, 1))
# plot the Wordfish estimates by party
textplot_scale1d(tmod_wf, groups = docvars(dfmat_ire, "party"))
## Topic models
**quanteda** makes it very easy to fit topic models as well, e.g.:
quant_dfm <- tokens(data_corpus_irishbudget2010, remove_punct = TRUE, remove_numbers = TRUE) %>%
tokens_remove(stopwords("en")) %>%
quant_dfm <- dfm_trim(quant_dfm, min_termfreq = 4, max_docfreq = 10)
Now we can fit the topic model and plot it:
```{r fig.width = 7, fig.height = 5}
if (require("stm")) {
my_lda_fit20 <- stm(quant_dfm, K = 20, verbose = FALSE)